10 Ways You Should Be Using Freelancers More Strategically

10 Ways You Should Be Using Freelancers More Strategically

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Getty Readers often ask how I became interested in writing about the freelance revolution. Way back in 2013, I was a partner in a boutique consulting firm RBL Group, working on a human capital strategy for McKesson , the big pharma company. McKesson’s CHRO Jorge Figueredo asked me to help him and his team understand the emerging trends that were shaping HR in future. Much of the data I reviewed focused on tech: AI was beginning to appear as a factor in talent management and Workday was demonstrating the potential of the “cloud” in HRIS. But I was interested in another cloud: the “talent cloud”. Early digital talent marketplaces were forming, and firms like Accenture and Deloitte claimed that more and more companies were depending on freelancers to augment full-time staff, and lend expertise the organization did not own. A bunch of articles followed, then a book Agile Talent written with Norm Smallwood, then an interview and a series of articles in the Harvard Business Review , and I was hooked as a chronicler of the freelance revolution. Which brings me to the current state of freelancing. One obvious measure of the growth of the freelance revolution is the sheer growth of freelancing . A more interesting indicator is a broadening of how freelancers are asked to support companies in a more strategic way, an area where greater progress should be evident. Hence the topic of this piece: what are more strategically impactful ways that freelancers can contribute to an organization? There are certainly new platform innovations that promise a more strategic contribution. For example: · Coaching talent platforms like AceUp , offer company executives, hi potential young managers and senior technical leaders executive coaching services in dealing with critical developmental needs · Expert access platforms like CleverX provide organizations with access to on demand expertise in a wide range of areas; the experience of these experts helps companies to increase the odds of success in new areas PROMOTED · Independent management consulting platforms like Business Talent Group in the US, Outsized in Asia, Flexing It in India and Expert 360 in Australia, give startups the chance to work with top management consultants on a freelance basis There is a greater good possible. As organizations become comfortable with a flexible, blended workforce, smart executives see greater potential to work with freelancers in more strategic ways. Here are 10 ways to get more from your investment in the freelance revolution: 1. Lubricating the executive imagination . At National City Bank , the HR head brought in freelance futurists to broaden executive thinking during the planning process; 3M regularly brings in outside experts to its R&D leaders for the same purpose. Are there freelancers or independent consultants working with your organization that might lubricate the creative juices of your leadership team? 2. Part of the strategy team . What about including freelancers as part of the team exploring a new investment in a market, product or capability. For example, Halliburton brought […]

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